For the past four years the Mountain View girls basketball team has been to Utah high schools what the Chicago Bulls have been to the NBA.

Like the Bulls, the Bruins have won three consecutive championships. This season Chicago lost the services superstar Michael Jordan due to retirement, while Mountain View stars Reagan Scott (Colorado) and Liz Pinegar (BYU) graduated to the major college ranks. Both teams appeared headed for rebuilding years, but have done amazingly well to this point.Mountain View lost all five starters from last year's team and its best returning player, Allison Gardner, hasn't played yet this year due to a knee injury sustained during the volleyball season. Still, the Bruins are a surprising 8-1 thus far in non-league action and a darkhorse to win the 5A state title.

The favorites, however, are American Fork, Layton and Bingham. The Cavemen have the state's best player (Julie Krommenhoek) and a 9-1 record with its only loss against 4A power Timpview. The Lancers are unbeaten this year after a 23-1 season a year ago. The Miners return all five starters from last year's team and was a preseason pick in USA Today to be one of the best teams in the West this year.

Region games will begin Jan. 11. Here's a closer look at the 5A schools region by region:


Layton (8-0) lost the twin towers of Hilary King (Utah) and Shalei Valentine (UVSC) to the college ranks, but still have real-life twin guards Tricia and Tara Ferrin to lead the way. The Ferrins are outstanding all-around players who lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. Senior forward Beth McCormick saw considerable playing time last year and will be counted on even more this season.

Clearfield (7-1) may be the surprise team of the region. The Lancers are led by seniors Natalee Webb, Jennifer Techmeyer and Leigh Kawaguchi as well as 6-foot-3 junior Angela Archuleta. Bonneville (4-4) boasts one of the best inside players in the region, 6-footer Tori Fishburn, who averages 14 points and eight boards per game. Senior guards Jodi Johnson and Tawnya Boss should help the Lakers finish in the top half of the league.

Northridge (6-2) will be in the hunt to earn one of the four playoff spots from the region. The Knights return every player from last year's team, led by guards Amber Bailey and Deedra Valentine and center Kelli Davis. Weber (3-5) has been a disappointment thus far, but the Warriors have some strong players including Kara Campbell, Angie Olson and Stacey Waters who were starters on Weber's recent state championship volleyball team. Roy (3-6) will have to come together quickly in this competive region to be in contention for a state berth. Katie Haws is a scoring leader for the Royals.


This region is up for grabs, with none of the teams currently sporting a winning record. Cottonwood (3-5) handed Bingham its only loss of the year. The Colts are led by guard Sheri Chamberlain (16 points and six rebounds per game) and forward Liz Hawes (12 points, seven boards).

Skyline (5-5), under first year coach Deb Bennett, could compete for the region crown. The Eagles start two sophomores and two juniors with senior Shelly Karren adding experience and leadership. Davis (3-5) should be among the four teams from this region to advance to the state playoffs. The Darts have a solid front line in seniors Amy Weston, Jill Atwater and Nikki Lee, while sophomore guard Megan Jensen is a major scoring threat.

Bountiful (1-6) has struggled during the preseason, but has one of the top three-point shooters in the state in Candie Pitcher, who averages better than 20 points per game. Pitcher and Karie Allen, a junior guard, give the Braves a strong backcourt combo. Viewmont (1-8) lost seven seniors from the team that won the consolation bracket in the state tournament last year. The Vikings are led by seniors Jenny Thompson, Casey Fuhriman, Nanette Smith and Amy Wadley. Highland (1-6) could be in for a long season. The Rams' only victory was over winless Granite.


Bingham (7-1) may be the most experienced team in the state, as all five starters returned from last year's 17-6 club. Guard Sandy Rhea, who has signed with Utah to play college softball, is averaging 15 points per game, while 6-3 junior center Malinda Lynch is also an up-and-coming star. Lori Schmidt, Emily Van Dyke and Lori Lovato are also fine players. After an early season loss at Cottonwood, the Miners have been tough. They should win the region and will be a favorite for the state title.

West Jordan (6-3) will be a stong challenge for the Miners. The Jaguars have one of the best centers in the state in 6-2 senior Sunny Robinson. Taylorsville (3-5) has a run-and-gun approach to the game that relies heavily on the 3-point shot. The Warriors are led by Jessica Button, Jill Ames and Elaine Richardson.

Hunter (5-4) should be a playoff team. The Wolverines have a balanced attack with Jiselle Jones and April Watt two of their best players. Granger (3-6) has five 6-footers on the team, including twins Kim and Kellie Erickson. If the guards come around the Lancers could be dangerous. Kearns (3-4) will need a big year out of star Melanie Bodily to earn a state tourney berth.

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American Fork (9-1) appears to be the class of the state's toughest region. Krommenhoek, who has already signed to play for Utah next year, is averaging 30 points per game. She's an outstanding shooter who is also a good rebounder and passer. The Cavemen are loaded in the backcourt as 5-8 Krommenhoek combines with 5-7 Tori Allen and 5-5 Jaycee Webb to give opponents nightmares. American Fork is small, however. Center Rosie Shelley is only 5-8. Still, American Fork's nine wins have been by an average of 28 points.

Mountain View (8-1) lost to defending 1A champion Valley in a tournament in Cedar City, but has rebounded to put together a successful preseason. The Bruins are led by forwards Brandi Daniels, a junior, and sophomore Lori Henry. If Gardner is able to return, Mountain View could be a surprise team in the state tournament. Orem (6-3) hopes to surpass crosstown rival Mountain View in the standings this year. The Tigers have a strong base in point guard Shaanta Kamai, forward Adrienne Honeycutt and center Charelle Vanderwel.

Alta (4-4) made it to the state championship game last year, but lost outstanding players in Laura Goulding and Krista Wardle to graduation. Alli Bills averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals last season and is back for her senior year. Bills has already signed a letter of intent to play for Utah. Forward Kara Harrison is a fine outside shooter. The young, undersized Hawks have struggled early, but should be a team to contend with by midseason. Hillcrest (4-4) would likely qualify for the state tournament in any other region, but will have its work cut out for it in this league. The Huskies are led by Heather Hofmann, Amber Pehrson and Krista Koehler. Brighton (1-4) appears to be overmatched. The Bengals, under first-year coach Richard Ball, will try to build for the future. Courtney Cluff and Carrie Davis are the top two players for Brighton.

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